About this blog space

This blog space is a place for me to primarily put all my wool gatherings, adventures, experiments. I am now a mum of two astounding daughters, and I used to be a DIY musician and co-ran a tiny independent label (Slampt), so this punk can-do attitude plus feminist analysis and Art school experience somehow informs my wool work! I am also deeply moved by GREEN, trees, weather, colour combinations in nature, and texture. I aim to source wool from round the corner or at the very least UK grown and processed, and to create no toxic waste. This means I get to see sheep as often as I can, sometimes at wool fests.
I am on Ravelry and Etsy as FatHenWildWool and Facebook as Rachel Holborow.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Whittling a birch twig crochet hook

As post Christmas austerity set in, I found myself one evening whittling this crochet hook from a birch twig I found whilst scavenging for kindling.
 Rosie (Age 6) has been hassling for a rug for since the summer, when she moved in to her new room. I realised that all our "decorating budget" was more than gone. However, I did have an overly large stash of yarn and could just about crochet. I did however, need a larger crochet hook if I was going to make anything rug sized. Hence 40 minutes of whittling and sanding by the Morso one evening.
I have never made a crochet hook before. I don't even do much whittling. However, the nice thick birch twig was just asking to be a crochet hook. I found myself slowly shaping the tip, once I'd got most of the bark off, and had dealt slowly, but forcefully with a side twig's knot. The groove of the head was important to get right, as that is what keeps the yarn in place comfortably as you crochet. I didn't bother with sanding and finishing the far end of the hook, as I wasn't really planning on sliding any yarn along it, and that has worked out fine, so far. I spent ages, it seemed, in sanding the head and groove of the hook, but this was the place where the yarn would need to slip along most in the crocheting process. I have, in the the process of making the rug, needed to slightly resand the groove of the hook, as it has worn a little, leaving a "catchy" patch, which tugged the fibres out of the yarn slightly.
Turns out that birch is a good twig to use for a crocet hook as it has a relatively slender heart wood and is not hollow (like, say willow would be). It doesn't seem to matter (working at this scale, anyway) that the hook is rather bumpy and twig like. Perhaps straightness is not necessary in a crochet hook?
I used my little Opinel knife for the whittling process, and caught the shavings on the hearth, and put them in the fire...
My husband now believes we'll be okay when Armageddon comes. He believes I can whittle us a new life from birch twigs. Bless.